We don’t know about you, but there’s something about winter, and particularly the holidays, that makes us crave fables and fairy tales — though whether it has to do with wanting to recapture the feeling of stories we heard in snug beds as children or whether it’s related to the communal family table, we’re not sure. Though it’s by no means a new trend, we feel that we’ve been seeing the advent of more and more fabulists following in the tradition of Aesop and La Fontaine — or maybe just writers who incorporate fables into their oeuvre. Indeed, today marks the release of the first English translation of Gianni Rodari’s wonderful Lamberto, Lamberto, Lamberto from Melville House, which will satisfy our cravings — at least for tonight. For tomorrow and the next day, click through to read our list of ten modern fabulists guaranteed to whisk you — and the whole family — away.
Gianni Rodari (Lamberto, Lamberto, Lamberto)
In Rodari’s newly translated novel, a wealthy baron with 24 illnesses (one for each of the 24 banks that he owns) discovers he can live forever — as long as his name is properly recited over and over. The resultant tale is a wonderful and weird fable about fame, ingenuity and media spectacles. By the way: we heard that this Friday, if you go into participating bookstores and are one of the first people to shout out “LAMBERTO! LAMBERTO LAMBERTO!” you will be rewarded with a free copy — and have contributed to Baron Lamberto’s everlasting life. Not only that, but for every 10 people who tweet #LambertoLambertoLamberto, Melville House will drop the price of the book until it reaches one cent. Now that’s a fabulistic marketing strategy we can get behind.